First, email this website URL to everyone you know who might be interested in supporting Jews in the military.
Second, help get the information we need, and then help get people interested in acting on the information we collect.
Keep in mind we are talking about the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard.
- What bases have no Jewish chaplains? Which bases have a Jewish chaplain but the Jewish military personnel would like contact with the closest nearby Jewish community? Please give answers in the comments below. If you have a contact number for the office of the head chaplain of that base if there’s no Jewish chaplain – or the office of the Jewish chaplain if there is one, please include it.
- Whether you’re a synagogue, Jewish school, JCC, the local rabbinical council, Hillel, kosher restaurant, Jewish bookstore, etc., when you know the contact info for a military community near you — offer to include the Jewish personnel in your area’s Jewish activities or offer a discount as does Dashka Roth Contemporary Jewelry & Judaica by emailing me at email@example.com
- Report back on what activities you do and what other needs you find. We’ll plan on doing a feature post on some of these activities.
Ann from Oklahoma emailed me to share this story of her Conservative synagogue Emanuel, which she said is a “very military friendly synagogue, many of the members have served at some point.”
Ann’s story in connection with the nearby Tinker Air Force base is precisely what this site is about – forging relationships with active duty Jewish personnel rather than only sending food or gift packages:
This past Passover I hosted a seder in my home for 13. It was led by an Air Force lieutenant pilot and two other active duty Air Force – one senior airman who is Jewish and one who was just curious. Also I had one retired Air Force man and his wife. The rabbi had another local Air Force man at his home seder.
We have 3-4 from the local base who attend services as often as schedules allow them to attend including the two mentioned above and a Navy pilot and his wife. There are others who pop in once in a while.
And if you want to know who you might be helping, here’s an email I received on January 25th from Robert E. Williger:
I saw on JewsinGreen.com about your new efforts. I am a Orthodox Jew who in a little more than a week will be shipping off to Army Basic Training at Fort Knox, KY, followed by Healthcare Specialist (Medic) training in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio,TX.
I think it is great what you are trying to do, especially with the shocked reactions I got from the Jewish community about my decision. I will be spreading the word of your organization to my friends and family and once I am in and done with training will be happy to help from the inside.
In a follow-up email he added:
I am 35 years old, married with a child so not the normal profile.
And for Jewish troops currently deployed, read about how Marsha Roseman and Joan Rimmon are supporting Jewish military personnel with their Project MOT — “holiday care packages for our deployed Jewish troops.”
If you’d like to volunteer for helping spread the word about this project, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.